Do you have a fav style of yoga? Yoga is a mind-body practice with a 5,000-year history in ancient Indian philosophy. Various styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation or relaxation.
There are many different styles of yoga, each with its own unique benefits and challenges. The key is to find the style that resonates with you and your individual needs which can shift and change overtime as we process and grow within our practice.
With that in mind, here are six popular styles of yoga:
Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga is a general term for any style of yoga that focuses on physical postures (asanas). It is a great starting point for beginners, as it offers a gentle and balanced practice. Hatha yoga can help to improve flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall well-being.
Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga yoga is a more vigorous style of yoga that follows a set sequence of 26 postures. It is a physically demanding practice, but it can also be very rewarding. Ashtanga yoga can help to build strength, endurance, and flexibility. It can also help to improve focus and concentration, and reduce stress.
Yin Yoga: Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga that focuses on holding poses for longer periods of time (for example, 2-5 minutes). It is a great way to target the connective tissues of the body, such as the ligaments, tendons, and fascia. Yin yoga can help to improve flexibility, range of motion, and joint health. It can also help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Vinyasa Yoga: Vinyasa yoga is a flowing style of yoga that links breath with movement. It is a more dynamic style of yoga that can be challenging or gentle, depending on the instructor. Vinyasa yoga can help to improve flexibility, strength, and endurance. It can also help to reduce stress and improve cardiovascular health.
Restorative Yoga: Restorative yoga is a very gentle style of yoga that uses props, such as blocks, blankets, and bolsters, to support the body in each pose. It is a great way to relax and de-stress. Restorative yoga can also help to improve flexibility, circulation, and sleep quality.
Power Yoga: Power yoga is a vigorous style of yoga that combines elements of Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. It is a physically demanding practice that can help to build strength, endurance, and flexibility. Power yoga can also help to reduce stress and improve cardiovascular health.
Which style of yoga is right for you?
The best way to find out which style of yoga is right for you is to try a few different classes and see what you like best. You may want to consider your goals and preferences when choosing a class.
If you are new to yoga, you may want to start with a Hatha yoga class. Hatha yoga classes are typically slower-paced and offer a variety of poses that are suitable for all levels of experience.
If you are looking for a more challenging practice, you may want to try Ashtanga Yoga or Power Yoga. These styles of yoga are more physically demanding, but they can also be very rewarding.
If you are looking for a relaxing and restorative practice, you may want to try Yin Yoga or Restorative Yoga. These styles of yoga are gentle and can help to reduce things such as stress and anxiety.
No matter what your fitness level or goals, there is a style of yoga that is right for you. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find the style that you enjoy the most.
Here are some additional things to consider when choosing a yoga class (whether it be online or in person):
- The Teacher: Find a yoga teacher who is qualified and experienced (like me, shameless plug)! You should also feel comfortable with the teacher’s teaching style. For example, I don’t gel with teachers who are focused on alignment and poses being perfect because that is not what yoga is about!
- The class size: Some people prefer smaller classes where they can get more individualised attention from the teacher. Others prefer larger classes where they can feel part of a community. Try this out for yourself and see and feel out what works best for you.
- The class level: Some classes are designed for beginners, while others are designed for more experienced students. This is just something to look out for, even though levels shouldn’t be a thing as classes should be inclusive for everyone, but this isn’t always the case.
- The time of day: Yoga can be practiced at any time of day, but some people find that they prefer to practice in the morning or evening. Choose a class time that works for your schedule and lifestyle. The great thing about online yoga is you can practice at a time that suits you so be sure to check out my Youtube Channel.
I hope this helps you to choose the right style of yoga for you.
What’s your favourite style of yoga?
Photo via Yoga and Photo.